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This is a question Being told off as an adult

When was the last time you were properly told off? You know: treated as an errant child rather than the sophisticated adult you are.

The sort of thing that dredges up an involuntary teenage mumble of "Sorry, Miss" whilst you stare at the ground.

Go on, tell us what childish thing you were up to when you got caught.

Oh, and can we have more than one-line answers this time? Cheers!

(, Thu 20 Sep 2007, 17:18)
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re: Freelance Journalists
I was once a freelance journalist, working for a variety of computer magazines but more often than not for one particular games mag. They had several in-house writers who generally split their days between drinking at PR bashes and playing Quake II online, leaving them little time to do any actual writing. This left a lot of work to be done most issues, much to my delight since most of it came my way (my day job was next door to the mag's office, so I was always close-by as deadlines loomed). There were occasions when I wrote, under various pseudonyms, anything up to 80% of the entire mag -- news, features, previews, reviews, reader letters*...you name it I spewed it out and took the cash.

Anyway, while messing about with computer games is a pretty easy way to make a few quid, most of the time it's also quite boring. When you've been doing it for a few years it becomes clear that very few games are even slightly original, and by far the majority are just plain crap. You get so that you can review most games (not the headliners, but the b-list stuff) with just a few minutes' play, using the cheat codes to jump ahead and screenshot later levels to make it look like you've played through.

One time I was so loaded down with work, I wrote a review without playing the game at all -- it was an expansion pack for a game I'd already reviewed, I couldn't find the original disk and the deadline was too short to get another copy sent over. So I read the blurb on the back, took a screenshot from the press pack and wrote the vaguest review I could come up with -- to disguise the fact that I was basically just rehashing what I'd said about the original, with some press-release garbage dotted here and there.

Sadly, the next day the editor decided that he actually wanted to discuss the merits of the game with me (for some reason, he'd never done it before and never did again) and I had to 'fess up that I hadn't actually played it. But instead of a bollocking, he just told me how disappointed he was -- which of course, is ten times worse.

Given how corrupt the industry is (you think these mags get exclusives because they're nice people?) I didn't really feel that bad. And I'd have made an excuse about short deadlines but I didn't want to lose the work, so I just sucked it up, apologised and promised never to do it again.

I did, of course.

[* 99% of genuine reader correspondence is either a) unbearably tedious, b) utterly nonsensical, c) completely illegible or d) all of the above]
(, Tue 25 Sep 2007, 15:10, closed)

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